Transcript: Nightly Business Report – November 19, 2018

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Bill Griffeth and Sue

suffer a punishing pull back as investors grow concerned about the once red
hot tech sector.

legend in the global automotive industry is taken into custody, slamming
the brakes on the career of a once powerful executive.

HERERA: Opioid lawsuit. Florida sues the nation`s largest two drugstore
chains, alleging they played a big role in the drug epidemic.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday,
November 19th.

GRIFFETH: And we do bid you good evening, everybody, and welcome.

The titans of tech are tanking. The sector that led the stock market
higher for several years has suddenly been beating a fast retreat and it`s
the biggest and most widely held names in that group that are leading the
way lower.

Add to that, continued concerns about trade and housing and you had the
recipe for yet another serious selloff on Wall Street. It happened again

The Dow was down 395 points. It was down 500 points a couple of times.
We`re just above 25,000. The Nasdaq was down 3 percent or 219 points. And
the S&P was down 45.

HERERA: So let`s start with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The most valuable
publicly traded U.S. company just narrowly avoided closing in a bear
market, meaning its shares are down nearly 20 percent from their most
recent high. Today, it was this article that pushed shares lower. “The
Wall Street Journal” reports that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has cut production
orders for all three new iPhone models. The uncertainty around iPhone
demand sent the stock lower by almost 4 percent.

GRIFFETH: And it`s a similar story for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). That stock
today fell more than 5.5 percent to its lowest level since February of last
year. It`s now down about 13 percent since the start of November and about
38 percent since its most recent peak in July.

And today, there were new reports of a more aggressive style by CEO Mark
Zuckerberg and increased tensions between him and chief operating officer
Sheryl Sandburg.

Julia Boorstin takes a look at the growing list of challenges facing
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).


(NASDAQ:FB) may have avoided manipulation around the recent midterm
elections, but the negative headlines mount. The latest this weekend about
conflict in the company`s highest ranks.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) faces five major challenges, first blocking fake news
and preventing manipulation, which has been driving everything from
violence in Myanmar to attempted voter suppression. Second, the platform
continues to gird against data hacks and breaches. As recently as Thursday
evening, Instagram told millions of users a security flaw could have
inadvertently exposed their passwords. The breach ironically tied to a
download your data tool that complies with European privacy regulations.

All this is potential distraction from CEO Mark Zuckerberg`s third
challenge, re-inventing Facebook`s business model away from the news feed
and towards the stories format. Zuckerberg warning in the company`s last
earnings call that they haven`t made as much money from ads and stories as
they have from newsfeed ads.

JOEL KULINA, WEDBUSH: Zuckerberg has realized that they really have to
monetize and ramp up their advertising on Instagram stories as quickly as
possible, and the issue is advertisements on Instagram monetize at a 30
percent lower ratio than newsfeeds.

BOORSTIN: This is happening as Facebook`s user growth stalls. A fourth
challenge for the company. It reported that in the third quarter, daily
active user numbers in the U.S. and Canada were flat from the second
quarter while in Europe daily users actually slipped.

VICTOR ANTHONY, AEGIS CAPITAL: What`s most important for investors about
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is whether or not there`s negative headlines is
putting pressure on user growth, whether or not users are fleeing their
platform, or whether or not advertisers are fleeing their platform. And I
spent this morning going through my data on monthly active users and daily
active users, I`m not seeing people leaving the platform in mass.

BOORSTIN: As Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) works to hold on to users and
advertisers, the threat of regulation looms. A fifth challenge for the

There are growing calls from Congress for comprehensive privacy regulation
as well as the potential for antitrust scrutiny of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and
its family of apps.

Last week, four Democratic senators asked the Department of Justice to take
a closer look at Facebook`s handling of data breaches and foreign
manipulation. Zuckerberg and COO Sandberg had both said they believe
regulation is inevitable. The question is just what impact regulation
we`ll have on Facebook`s bottom line.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.


GRIFFETH: And while we`re at it, shares of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) parent
Alphabet were also dragged lower today. That stock joins other so called
FANG names in the bear market territory. It`s off 20 percent from its July
peak and has erased all of its gains for this year.

HERERA: Adding to today`s tech misery, a report in “The Financial Times”
that says Chinese authorities are alleging, quote, massive evidence of
antitrust violations among some of the world`s largest semiconductor
companies including Samsung and Micron Tech. The report also says that
China plans to deepen its investigation into these companies.

GRIFFETH: Well, heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China added
to the market unrest. An annual economic summit held over the weekend
brought together Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice President Mike Pence
who maintained a hard stance on trade.


action to address our trade imbalance with China. We put tariffs on $215
billion in Chinese goods and we could more than double that number. But we
hope for better. The United States, though, will not change course until
China changes its ways.


GRIFFETH: The so-called APEC summit involves 21 Asian and Pacific-based
companies. And this year, it ended without a joint communique for the
first time in its 29-year history.

HERERA: And not helping matters was a new read on home builder sentiment
which fell to its lowest level in more than two years. This is the latest
in a string of bad numbers from the housing sector, an industry that is
critical to the broader economy.

As Diana Olick reports, the culprits are painfully clear.


been the last holdout. Housing demand was so high that builders`
confidence stayed strong, even as home sales fell, mortgage rates rose and
affordability weakened over the past several months to the worst in a
decade. Now, suddenly, the builders are feeling it too.

ROBERT DIETZ, NAHB CHIEF ECONOMIST: For a few months, the builders were
looking at positive demographics, over supporting housing demand, and
seeing if the market rate would digest the higher interest rates, the run
up in home prices. And what we saw this month was basically a fall back
where builders are saying, OK, now housing affordability is a real issue.

OLICK: Builder confidence dropped in November to the lowest reading since
August of 2016. This on the heels of warnings from big builders like
Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH), that they were seeing weaker
demand from buyers and were therefore lowering sales expectations for the
next year.

Stocks of the builders have been weak all year as interest rates started
the year higher, tariffs hit builder bottom lines and then interest rates
move higher again this fall. The average rate on the 30-year fixed
mortgage is a full percentage point higher than it was a year ago.

While builders might like to lower prices to bring buyers back, that is
increasingly difficult.

DIETZ: Because real estate development is mostly debt financed, higher
interest rates also mean a higher cost of financing for the builders and
land developers.

So, that`s going to be baked in the cake.

OLICK: Builders are reporting weaker confidence in all facets of their
business. Current sales conditions, buyer traffic and sales expectations
over the next six months, but it`s that last one as we head into winter
that weakens the worst.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick, in Washington.


GRIFFETH: Let`s turn to Jon Najarian right now to talk about what`s
happening. He`s the founder of the Najarian Family Office.

You`ve been trading this market for a long time.


GRIFFETH: And this volatility started in early October and it just
continues now. What`s this market telling you right now?

NAJARIAN: Well, the market`s more nervous now, Bill, about the impact of
the tariffs that Vice President Pence was talking about.

HERERA: Right.

NAJARIAN: And he kind of pulled a little bit of a page from Navarro`s
playbook, talking very, very tough about, hey, this is a long road. It
might take years. And the market really didn`t want to hear that.

And so, that`s why Boeing (NYSE:BA) and in particular Caterpillar
(NYSE:CAT) were hit on that.

HERERA: Do you get the sense though that the turn that we`ve seen in the
market, specifically as it relates to technology, is a longer term turn or
is this just a blip based on the rhetoric?

NAJARIAN: I think tech, Sue, is going to be a shorter term turn to the
downside, that is. I think algorithmic traders and things like that have
hit things very quickly because they move faster than human beings can and
a lot of those big cap stocks have really been punished and perhaps overly
punished. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) we can understand why.


NAJARIAN: But there`s a lot of the other stocks that you can`t understand
why they`ve been hit as hard and yet they`ve been hit harder than a
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

GRIFFETH: But you have to admit. I mean, the highest profile and highest
multiple stocks, those that have been assigned a price relative to their
earnings, they`ve been very hard hit this time around. Is this the market
just fleshing out the high priced stocks here?

NAJARIAN: It`s so different, Bill, than what it has been in the past. In
the past, a human being would respond to a big selloff and a human being
like me might step in there and start buying. Now with algorithmic trading
being about 90 percent of what happens in the stock market every day, the
algorithms are set up so that the more it falls, the more they sell.

GRIFFETH: The computers that are looking for certain words and headlines,
they see those and down it goes.

NAJARIAN: Yes, and the weaker it gets, the more they sell. And that`s why
you see something like Trulia (ph) today which fell by I think 14 percent
or something like that. I mean, when Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) fall 3 or 4 percent, that`s a big deal.

When some of these other stocks that have had great years don`t have bad
news and fall three times faster than that, that`s some of these guys
acting on it.

HERERA: Economic background that`s pretty good.


HERERA: The economy overall is solid.

NAJARIAN: Right. And cloud. I mean, you saw Verizon (NYSE:VZ), for
instance, doing very well. In fact, it was one of the few stocks in the
S&P 500 that was moving higher throughout the whole session, and that`s
because there`s a lot of demand for their product.

GRIFFETH: Jon Najarian with Najarian Family Office, always good to see
you. Thanks for dropping by.

NAJARIAN: Thank you, guys.

HERERA: It is time to take a look at some of today`s “Upgrades and

Delta and United Airlines were given an outperform rating in new coverage
at Credit Suisse. That analyst cites strong execution at the company`s, as
well as margin expansion into next year. The price targets are $71 for
delta, $113 for united. Shares of Delta rose fractionally to $56.19.
Meanwhile, United Continental shares were down a tick to $92.09.

Also at Credit Suisse, JetBlue was initiated with an underperform rating in
new coverage. The analyst cites a muted outlook for margins and earnings
next year. The price target is $16. JetBlue shares fell more than 1.5
percent to $17.73.

GRIFFETH: Charles Schwab is downgraded to neutral from buy at UBS. The
analyst there cited a less attractive earnings outlook and heavier
regulatory burdens. Price target $51. That stock fell 2 percent today to

Also at UBS. TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) was upgraded to buy from neutral.
The analyst said that investors are under appreciating these stock`s
capital return potential. Price target now is $60. But that stock fell,
along with the rest of the market today, to close at $52.07.

HERERA: Still ahead, why CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens find themselves at
the center of the opioid fight.


GRIFFETH: Shares of Pacific Gas and Electric fell again today after
California`s largest utility revealed that a second power line outage
occurred on the morning of November 8th. That was the same day as the
deadly Camp Fires started. The utility has said that it could face
liabilities that exceed its cash levels and insurance coverage if its
equipment is, indeed, found to have caused that wildfire.

PG&E says it is cooperating with the investigation and California
regulators have offered to finance — financial help to keep that company
out of bankruptcy. But since November 8th, that stock has just about been
cut in half.

HERERA: A man synonymous with the auto industry has been arrested. Nissan
alleges its chairman Carlos Ghosn violated Japanese financial law,
underreporting compensation amounts and other significant acts of
misconduct. Ghosn is the chairman of not only Nissan but also Renault and
Mitsubishi. It is a dramatic fall for a leader hailed as one of the best
known figures in the global car industry.


HERERA: He turned things around at Renault and then Nissan where in 2005,
Carlos Ghosn became the first person to run two Fortune 500 global
companies at the same time. In 2016, Nissan bought a 34 percent stake in
Mitsubishi, forming a three-way alliance, sharing technology and other

Adding in sales by a Russian automaker overseen by Ghosn as well and the
group sold more than 10.7 million vehicles in 2017, by some counts, the
most in the world.

That`s why today`s announcement made by the man who succeeded Ghosn as CEO
at Nissan last year was stunning.

Tokyo prosecutors say the 64-year-old`s salary was worth $89 million in the
five fiscal years ending may 2015 but that it was underreported by about
half. Ghosn is also accused of using company money for his own benefit.

Analysts are questioning whether the alliance will crumble, but one former
critic of the structure, Bob Lutz who at different times once led each of
the American big three automakers, Ford, Chrysler, and GM, says the success
of Ghosn`s alliance speaks for itself. Instead, Lutz doubts whether any
one person can or even should replace him.

disease. Think about it, everywhere he goes, all three corporations,
nothing but admiration, adulation, yes, boss, et cetera, et cetera. Over a
while, they tend to believe that they`re above the rules and above the law
and then they start misbehaving.

HERERA: Lutz and others are quick to point out there`s no proof Ghosn has
done anything wrong. For now though, dark clouds hang over his reputation
and the future of one of the world`s biggest automakers.


HERERA: Nissan`s current CEO says he will propose removing Ghosn when the
board meets on Thursday.

GRIFFETH: Disney`s deal with Fox takes a big step forward and that`s where
we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

Chinese regulators gave the thumbs up to Disney`s proposed acquisition of
21st Century Fox assets. The unconditional approval marks a big hurdle for
the company Disney (NYSE:DIS) amid the ongoing trade disputes going on
right now. U.S. antitrust authorities approved that deal themselves in
June. Disney (NYSE:DIS) shares were down a fraction today to $115.42.
Shares of Fox rose nearly 2 percent to close at $48.54.

Oil and gas company Cimarex is going to buy smaller company Resolute for
about a billion and a half dollars, including debt. That deal gives
Cimarex more assets in the shale-rich Permian basin. Cimarex shares fell
nearly 1 percent today to $88.03. Resolute Energy (NYSE:REN) shares popped
more than 13 percent to $34.70.

HERERA: After the bell, L Brands reportedly quarterly results that topped
estimates helped by a rise in same store sales. The parent company of Bath
and Body Works also said it named a new CEO for its Victoria`s Secret
brand. The company raised its earnings forecast for the year, but slashed
its annual dividend to $1.20 from $2.40. Shares were volatile in
afterhours but they finished the regular day down 2 percent to $34.55.

Also after the bell, financial software firm Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) said
subscriber growth in its quick books online contributed to an overall
earnings beat. The company also gave profit and sales guidance for the
current quarter that was ahead of Wall Street`s expectations. Shares
initially rose in the after hours but they finished the regular day down
nearly 6 percent to $199.24.

GRIFFETH: Florida`s attorney general is adding two of the country`s
largest drugstore chains to an existing lawsuit against opioid
distributors. The state alleges that CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens both had
a hand in perpetuating the nation`s opioid crisis.

Bertha Coombs reports.


bear some of the blame in the opioid crisis, says Florida Attorney General
Pam Bondi. She`s adding CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens to a lawsuit against
drug companies including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and wholesale
distributors like McKesson (NYSE:MCK), charging that the drugstore chains,
quote, joined the race to sell as many opioids as possible and should have
known that the quantity of opioids being distributed in Florida far
exceeded the medical need of residents.

PROF. ABBE GLUCK, YALE LAW SCHOOL: What`s interesting about bringing CVS
(NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens in, is that some say they`re so far down the chain
of responsibility when it comes to the opioid crisis. You`ve got doctors
prescribing drugs that the FDA says are important, safe, necessary. You
got the Purdue, the manufacturer, so many entities between the manufacturer
of the opioid and CVS (NYSE:CVS). And that`s the argument that they`re
making for why they really don`t belong in the suit.

COOMBS: Walgreens declined to comment on the litigation but in a
statement, CVS (NYSE:CVS) called its addition to the Florida lawsuit,
quote, without merit. Adding that the company is committed to, quote, the
highest standards of ethics and business practices complying with federal
and state laws.

Both have already been sued as part of the massive multidistrict litigation
in federal court in Ohio which has brought together more than 400 state and
local cases before Judge Dan Polster. So far, the court has not ruled out
any defendants in the case and legal analysts say that may be why Florida
and others are making sure they have a claim from firms with deep pockets.

GLUCK: If you look at CVS`s annual revenues and Walgreens`s annual
revenues, they`re over $100 billion a year. If you look at Purdue`s annual
revenue, that`s the main pharmaceutical manufacturer, they`re only in the
30s. So, if you`re also thinking about who can afford to pay these
settlements, you want to bring in the big guns.

COOMBS: Judge Polster is pushing to reach a global settlement in the cases
within months. He`s trying to avoid them dragging on.

It took a better part of a decade to reach the $200 billion master
agreement in the 1990s tobacco lawsuits.



HERERA: Let`s turn back to Abbe Gluck who just heard from in Bertha`s
report. As we mentioned, she is a law professor at Yale Law School.

Welcome back. Nice to have you here, Abbe.

GLUCK: Thanks for having me.

HERERA: I want to go back to something that you said in Bertha`s report,
that these are legal drugs. They`re FDA approved. They`re prescribed by
physicians and as a result of that, Walgreens and CVS (NYSE:CVS) are
obligated to fill those prescriptions.

So, on what basis is this lawsuit going to go forward with them?

GLUCK: Well, this lawsuit is different from the tobacco lawsuit precisely
because the plaintiffs are casting a hugely broad net of responsibility.
They are arguing that everybody down the chain had a responsibility to
raise red flags when they saw too many prescriptions. They`re arguing that
these companies had a public health duty and duty to the public to monitor
and raise warning signals when they came about.

That`s different from the tobacco crisis and it`s what`s pulled in CVS
(NYSE:CVS) and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG).

GRIFFETH: But here`s the question I have. When you consider the massive
settlement talks going on in Ohio and you add in the other state lawsuits
that are coming up here all the time, what you`re essentially going to do
is just punish the people, the entities that had been involved in
perpetuating the opioid crisis but you`re not solving the opioid crisis.

Do you suspect as Judge Polster is hoping, that there will be regulations
or new laws to come forward to try and do that?

GLUCK: Yes. This goes to the question, can litigation solve a public
health crisis? And, of course, it cannot, right? Litigation can throw
money at the crisis, and money is needed because there are a lot of people
who need treatment. You`re not going to get a solution to this crisis
until we get actual legislation that deals with proper pain management,
addiction and lets lots of federal barriers to effective treating of
addiction. So —

GRIFETH: What do you think — who`s going to do that? Where`s that going
to come from do you think?

GLUCK: Well, Congress just tried and didn`t do very much. Congress didn`t
do any harm, nibbled around the edges, but it didn`t do any enough.

Every single state has actually tried to pass some legislation and
prescriptions have gone down. But for something more comprehensive, I do
think the federal government is going to have to come back in.

HERERA: Because will this not have a chilling effect. I mean, if a
Walgreens and a CVS (NYSE:CVS) can get put into this massive lawsuit,
everybody who touches the drugs on the way down the line is vulnerable,

GLUCK: Well, yes. They already have been put into the lawsuit. I mean, I
think the answer to that is, yes, who`s left? Because they`ve already got
the distributors, they`ve even got a hospital accreditation agency that
recommended against the under treatment of pain in the `90s.

So, these plaintiffs are being very aggressive. They started with tobacco
but they went far beyond the tobacco playbook to pull in as many defendants
as they could.

HERERA: Abbe, thank you very much.

GLUCK: Thanks for having me.

HERERA: Abbe Gluck with Yale University.

GRIFFETH: Coming up, stay calm and invest on. How to take the emotion out
of retirement decisions even in a market like this.


GRIFFETH: As we mentioned, big declines in some of the largest tech stocks
drove today`s market slide, and because they are so widely held, it no
doubt leads some investors to worry about the impact on their 401ks and
retirement savings. And sometimes it causes some to make major moves as a

Sharon Epperson joins us now to talk about how retirement savers should be
thinking about their portfolios amid all of the volatility.

Is there evidence that they`ve already made some big moves here as a

over the last several weeks. I mean, investors are looking at their 401k
plans. They may not have individual shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), but they`re looking at the selloff that they`re
seeing and they`re saying, maybe I need to do something.

And what we`re seeing according to light solutions which looks at 401k
trading activity is in a buy and hold like your 401k, we`re seeing higher
than average daily trading activity. Usually we don`t see anything. But
on October 9th, we saw as the market plunged, a nearly daily double digit
increased in the amount of daily trading activity in the 401k. And as
market started to rebound a weak later, we saw again, more trading
activity. Investors doing kind of the opposite of what they should be
doing, selling at the bottom and going into fix income and then buying as
the market rebounded, buying more equities.

GRIFFETH: You know, Jon Najarian earlier was saying said the computers are
doing it. It sounds like we`re getting some knee-jerk reactions from
retirees or people on the verge of retirement. They`re going to have some

EPPERSON: Yes. We`ve seen it often. I mean, Blake Mason did a survey and
they looked over the summer at investors who had $50,000 or more investable
assets and said, you know, have you ever sold and then regretted it in your
401k plan?

And one in three said they made an emotional decision to sell in their 401k
plan and later regretted it. More than half of them were people who had
kids in their household, and we all know we spend money on our kids and
sometimes take money out of our 401k to do it. But the other thing that
was interesting is nearly half of them describe themselves as expert and
advance in terms of knowing about investments, but still, their emotions
got the best of them.

GRIFFETH: Twenty seconds. How do you take the emotion out of it?

EPPERSON: Don`t do the bad things. Don`t overspend, now or in retirement.
Don`t over-subsidize your adult kids, which we`ve talked about. The
vacation home that seems great, can you really afford it or are you
stretching? And then think about those health care costs. Where they are
now, where they may be in retirement.

The market is going to be volatile. But you got to focus on what you can
control now. That`s the way to stay calm and keep investing.

HERERA: Excellent.

GRIFFETH: Sharon Epperson, as always, thank you.

EPPERSON: My pleasure.

GRIFFETH: Wise words.

HERERA: Billionaire and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is
donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. It is
the largest gift ever made to an education institution in the U.S.
Bloomberg says the donation is to help the university provide financial aid
for low and middle income students. Johns Hopkins says the move will allow
it to admit qualified applicants without considering whether their ability
to pay.

GRIFFETH: One last look at the day on Wall Street. It happened again,
another big down day, down 1.5 percent for the Dow. The Nasdaq fell by 3
percent. The S&P down 45 points.

HERERA: Keep calm and invest on.

GRIFFETH: Exactly.

HERERA: That does it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffin. Have a great evening. See you tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at The program is transcribed by ASC Services II
Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests
and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
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